Rare Breed Meat
Bushblades Farm along with other small producers are committed to bringing back Britain’s rare animal breeds and we hope you can support us, choosing to buy rare breed meat as 'We Eat Them to Keep Them'
The Rare Breed Survival Trust monitor the number of native breeds and produce an annual ‘Watchlist’. We currently stock a number of rare breed animals. The status of each breed can be seen on the RBST watchlist.
Rare Breed pork has distinctive qualities; it is succulent, flavoursome and has crackling to die for. Compared with ultra-lean supermarket pork, it offers a much more ‘porky’ fuller taste due to the slow grown nature of the meat. The fat is necessary to baste the meat while it cooks, to give flavour and succulence. Naturally produced pork has also been shown to carry health-benefiting Omega-3 fatty acids. We keep a number of different rare Pork breeds on the farm.
Saddlebacks were one of Britain’s mainstream breeds up to the 1970s. The growth of supermarkets, which demanded ultra-lean white pigs from the intensive producers, mean that the Saddleback numbers currently (2020-21) stand at about 200-300 (RBST - Vulnerable) The Saddleback pig is a medium to large lop-eared pig, mainly black, with a white band running over the shoulders to the front feet, which gave it its name. Saddleback’s are a hardy breed, known for their grazing ability and thrive outdoors. They are full of character and are good mothers with an excellent temperament.
Although the Saddleback is mostly black, that does not mean that you will have black crackling or bacon rind. Like every other pig, the skin on the Saddleback is the same after slaughter and the removal of the bristles. You may find some black stubble where the bristles have not been fully removed but this should be seen as a sign of quality.
The Middle White is a Yorkshire heritage breed, and best described as ‘beautifully ugly.’ Its docile nature and hardiness suit it to outdoor production where it can wallow to its heart’s content. This is Britain’s only dedicated pork breed, (as opposed to bacon) and has long been renowned for the outstanding quality of its fresh, uncured meat which boasts robust, porky flavour. The breed was known as “The London Porker” because of high demand for Middle White pork in the capital.
Unfortunately, the increasing demand for lean pigs for bacon production led to a decline in the Middle White’s numbers in the UK. The Middle White is now considered rarer than even the Giant Panda. (RBST Endangered 100-200) Fortunately a number of dedicated breeders ensured the continuation of the breed. In recent years the demand for meat with good eating qualities has once again led to Middle White pork appearing on the menus of top London restaurants, with “glowing reports” regarding its outstanding quality.
The large black was a popular breed dating back to the 16th and 17th century as both a pure breed to produce pork and bacon pigs. Unfortunately, it has become another casualty of commercialised factory farming. (RBST Endangered 100-200) Known for producing succulent, tasty meat, the Large Black is an efficient converter of feed. They have an easy-going nature which means that they are less adventures than some.
As the name suggests, they are a large breed making them good bacon pigs. A more specialist role is “Parma ham” type production.
Details of our rare breed Beef and lamb